tv Americas Newsroom FOX News October 23, 2012 9:00am-11:00am EDT
bill: fox news alert. we are two weeks away, america. the third and final debate now in the books as the race for the white house enters that critical final stretch. 14 days to go before you see your next president. good morning, everybody, i'm bill hemmer, welcome here to "america's newsroom." late night last night. yet again a very important night as we move forward. good morning, martha. martha: good morning bill. good morning, everybody. i'm martha maccallum. it started out with president obama really on the offensive. a more measured governor romney as we went into the initial moments last night. but the showdown moved on to pretty tense exchanges we haven't seen from the last couple of debates. >> we're talking about the middle east and how to help
the middle east reject the kind of terrorism we're seeing and rising tide of tumult and confusion and attacking me is not an agenda. >> we have things called aircraft carriers where planes land land on them. ships that go under water and nuclear submarines. so the question is not, a game of battleship where we're counting ships. it is, what are our capabilities. >> you went to the middle east and you flew to egypt and to saudi arabia and to turkey and iraq. and, by the way, you skipped israel. our closest friend in the region but you went to the other nations. and by the way, they noticed that you skipped israel. >> a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest go owe political threat facing america, you said russia. not al qaeda, russia. 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back. the cold war is over for 20 years. >> congratulate him taking out osama bin laden and going after the leadership in al qaeda. we can't kill our way out of
this mess. >> your strategy, previously has been one that has been all over the map. and is not designed to keep americans safe or to build on the opportunities that exist in the middle east. bill: so that now sets the stage for the next two hours. these stakes could frankly not too higher. candidates are neck-and-neck, razor-thin margin according to polling especially in the battleground states. did either side score a victory. stephen hayes, was there in florida today. you score the debate a flat-out draw. why is that? >> i think, neither candidate actually did anything to disqualify himself. neither candidate did anything really to distinguish himself. so i thought you had the president being very aggressive. obviously mitt romney taking a much more laid-back approach. no difference. we come out of the debate basically where we started it i think. bill: i will start with each man. the first question about governor romney. you believe he could be
perceived as weak last night based on his performance. why? >> that is the risk. obviously romney team came in we want mitt romney to be presidential. voters back in the living rooms watching their debate to see mitt romney as their president. to see somebody who is not a hothead, not a warmongerer. who is calm and able to steer the ship of state as it were. i think from their perspective he succeeded in doing that the risk is, did voters at home see him as weak, as afraid to challenge the president in a more forceful way, which i think was deserved sometimes, whether on libya and on the president's other claims. bill: how was the president then? you label him as condescending and disrespectful and strong words and negative too. steve, why? >> i really thought the president was out of line several times. the clip you played we have these ships and airplanes canned land on them, really mocking mitt romney. there is a way to make clear that your opponent in the case of governor, of barack
obama, didn't know, hasn't done foreign policy before. without being so con do sending and for a candidate who has had the strong likeability advantage in poll after poll after poll, i wonder if he really didn't risk eroding that advantage by being so aggressive and so petty and so disrespectful that is interesting analysis. cnn did a snap poll on likeability and they called it a draw too on the two men. we'll see how it plays. steve hayes in boca. thanks, stove. martha: first up, fox news political senior analyst brit hume on quote, condescending looks steve was talking about. brit said the facial expressions really mean in as many ways as much as their words. >> these debates are about what the candidates aand about how they appear when the other person is talking. so. is on a split screen. the president had a very
intent look on his face. i wouldn't describe it as a mean look. i would describe it as a man looking for opportunities to strike. the, governor romney, it seemed to me has this benign default expression in which he appears to be interested most of the time. he has a slight smile on his face but not a smug one. i wonder if his was not the more attractive default expression because this kind of thing matters. martha: the importance of the visual medium in all of this. you may recall the president got a lot of criticism in the first debate for constantly looking down in the split screen. brit sort of referenced how all that went this time around. bill: one of the big surprises last night a lot of pewere talking about governor romney's response on libya. it was the first question of the debate on bob schiefer. instead of handling the president on muddled response on terror attacks in benghazi where we left on debate number two, governor romney spoke broadly about the situation in the middle east. how did charles krauthamer react to that? he said this was.
>> romney decided not to go after the president of libya, or other areas where obama could accuse him of a bush warmonger. he decided to stay away from that. i think that actually might have worked for him. bill: in the post-debate spin room of which there are many people flooding that room, governor romney's senior advisor eric fehrnstrom. the governor addressed libya in many forms and there were no other areas to cover. in 30 minutes we'll talk to senator robb portman of ohio. he was his, his sparring partner in these debates. what was the strategy on libya? did you have a line of attack and did you decide to put that on the shelf. i thought what chris wallace reported last night after the debate woos over was very interesting. the romney team told wallace, governor romney laid out the strategy and form and fashion for how he would carry things out.
portman coming up. martha: left a lot of people in the twitter up verse suggesting lines all the time for comebacks, who felt he wasn't strong enough or missing opportunities that he could have used to really come back. we'll see if the strategy worked for him in the end. that is clearly what seems to have been at play here. we also heard from the undecided voter who touched off the firestorm from the last debate when he did ask president obama about the response in libya. his name is carey. remember him as a character in the play last go round from long island, new york. he told get at that van sus trom last night he -- greta van susteren. >> it is still the same question for me. i thought the president was great on the foreign policy tonight. i thought the governor did excellent on the economic situation. i ultimately this election will be won based on economics, not foreign policy. i'm still betwixt and between. martha: he still undecided.
he falls into that very narrow category getting a ton of attention next couple weeks. he and the other undecideds have 14 more days, two weeks from today. bill: that guy sounds like a romney guy every time he opens his mouth. martha: i don't know. bill: if you were undecided today, what is going to convince you. it's a big open question now. as far as who did better last night, karl rove weighed in late last night at midnight with greta. here is his take. >> let's remember when we talk about winning and losing these debates, people look at these debates through two frames, one frame is, sort of like the olympic judge. how was your style? how did you come off the board and how did you enter the water? sort of like a diving judge at the olympics. the other part is a more nuanced view, who made me feel more comfortable and who reassured me? tonight the initial poll said that by a narrow margin, narrower than the second debate people thought obama, quote, won the debate. but if you look inside the numbers here is what really important. in the cnn poll, who do you
think can handle, do you think obama, do you think romney can handle the job as commander-in-chief, 63% said obama could handle the job as commander-in-c ttle about tha. >> i have a policy for the future, an agenda for the future. when it comes to the economy over here at home i know what it takes to create 1212 million new jobs and rising take-home pay. what we've seen over last four years i don't want to see next four years. the president said by know we would be at 5.4% unemployment. we're nine million jobs short of that. i will see america working
again and rising take-home pay again. >> we can't expect entrepreneurs and people large and small, take tear life savings or invest in america if they think we're headed for the road to he's. >>. that is where we're going if we don't get off the spending and borrowing binge. martha: stuart varney, anchor of "varney & company" on the fox business network. stuart, you could tell at times last night both men want to get their points in on the economy even though the frame was for foreign policy. >> that's right. governor romney frequently focused back on the economy and focused in on debt and parallels with europe. we have new numbers from the census department which really make governor romney's point. we oy $5.4 trillion to dollars. $5.4 trillion. that works out to $47,495 per household of which 10,000 is owed to china. now that debt to foreigners has almost doubled in the obama years.
very tough to work your will in the world when you owe the rest of the world a great deal of money. the second it team -- item, our total debt well over 16 trillion which is bigger than our economy. that is precisely the same danger signals europe was sending out a few short months and years ago. so the governor focused on the economy, our debt and parallels with europe. we've got new numbers this morn to go back up his case. martha: stuart, the flipside of that when he talked about how much china needs us to absorb and to buy all their goods. he called them a currency manipulator. he said he would basically charge them with that on day one. how do you think all of that went? >> that does not play well with economists and markets and investors. well, the feeling it, look, don't provoke a trade war with china. what we need in the world right now, is a strong china and a strong united states to lead the rest of the world out of this growing
recession and to pick on china with a trade war-like statement is not what the markets wanted to hear. martha: interesting. stuart, thank you so. bill: we'll see a drop at open. watch that. we're just getting started, folks. what was behind governor romney's strategy last night? we'll talk to the man who played president obama during the debate prep. senator robb portman and his home state of ohio. >> lots to talk about with him. heated exchange over the war in iraq and the effect the white house has on the future of that country. did president obama undo the progress that was made in iraq? former secretary of defense under president george w. bush, donald rumsfeld, is here on that. bill: also the hits keep coming, martha. herman cain on the economy and the issue of presidential leadership. >> every time you've offered an opinion you've been wrong. >> attacking me is not an agenda. at shell, we believe the world needs a broader
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world. just one of the many topics last night. both candidates trading jabs at one another on the issue of leadership. >> in order to be able to fulfill our role in the world america must be strong. america must lead. and for that to happen we have to strengthen our economy here at home. you can't have 23 million people struggling to get a job. you can't have an economy that over the last three years keep slowing down its growth rate. you can't have kids coming out of college half of them can't find a job today or a job that is commensurate with their college degree. we have to get our economy going. >> america remains the one indispensable nation, and, the world needs a strong america and it is stronger now than when i came into office. bill: herman cain, former republican candidate for president, cofounder of job creators solutions. sir, good morning to you there. in the hometown of atlanta, big picture stuff. how did you think that
played last night on leadership? >> i think that governor romney presented an image of leadership. he was clear and convincing. now when president obama said that america is stronger now than since he has been in office, that is blatantly false. look, a strong economy, and a strong military equals a strong america. that was the picture that governor romney painted last night, over and over and over. you can not separate a strong economy from a strong america nor can you separate a strong military and under president obama, both have gotten weaker and he was on the defensive in this debate and the last debate trying to defend failed policies. bill: here are the two, here's the reference that you just made here. last night governor romney said nowhere in the world is america's influence greater today than it was four years ago. suggesting a decline. three minutes later the president said america is stronger now than when i
came into office. what did you think of that? >> i think that is blatantly false. the only place where america's influence might be stronger are in countries that hate us. look at the countries, look at the leaders, dictators endorsing president obama. i'm glad they don't get a vote. the point is, that simply is not true. the economy is weaker. our military is weaker, not in terms of their capability or in terms of the spirit and courage of your fighting men and women, no, in terms of the resources we have provided. what governor romney did last night, was basically explain in his own words what reagan used to call peace through strength, but he also added clarity. last night we saw governor romney, who was very clear and confident on what it takes to be a great america, with a great economy and a great military and president obama vague and not very convincing. bill: two more points on this. governor romney said we're
four years closer to a nuclear iran. he went on to say, you went on this trip overseas and you skipped israel, referring to the israelis, as, they noticed. he said this a couple times last night. attacking me is not an agenda. >> right. bill: what was the strategy behind that? because clearly that was a line that was worked on prior to last night. >> just like president obama had to be on the defensive relative to failed economic policy he really had to be on defensive of failed foreign policy as well. it appeared as if his strategy going in was attack, attack, attack. he attacked mitt romney. he attacked things mitt romney said in the past. he kept bringing up things people are going, what is he talking about? this is why --. bill: you know, sir, he was aggressive. >> he was. bill: as a romney guy, did you want governor romney to match that level of aggressiveness? >> i did at first, but after i watched the entire debate,
i was pleased with governor romney's performance. i was pleased with his clarity, how convincing he was, and he came across as very knowledgeable, in fact much more knowledgeable than the president. the president is supposed to have been commander-in-chief for four years. i was very pleased with governor romney's presentation in terms of strength through clarity, and strength through the strength of the economy and the strength of our military. he brought that message home loud and clear. president obama was on the defensive. bill: i know you travel a lot. just a few days ago, you were in denver, colorado, which you know is a swing state. what are you hearing from people? how is this going to go in 14 days? >> here's what i'm hearing. it is about the economy. the fact that governor romney kept bringing it back it economy was a good thing in terms of that's what is foremost on people's minds. i have met with over 1600 business owners in the last month and a half as part of
our job creators solutions tour and here's what they have said unequivocally. uncertainty is killing this economy. and if president obama gets reelected, many businesses are going to shut down or they are going to downsize. they have no choice. why? because of the regulations and the taxes that president obama's going to impose. so that's what i'm hearing out there. bill: herman cain, thank you for your time. atlanta, georgia. thanks. >> thanks. martha: these debates are kind of like a prizefight of mental gym mastics out there. what did they give away or gain or way they did or did not land those punches last night? coming up, james rosen on that. [cheers and applause] >> go badgers. [cheers and applause]
bill: early voting now underway in several states including the key battleground state of colorado which we mentioned with herman cain. voters and state politicians encouraging many folks to take advantage of this opportunity. >> it's an honor to be able to vote and i wanted to get it done early so that i know that it is taken care of. >> if you're going to vote, might as well vote early. one. great benefits of voting early fewer people will call you every day to tell you to get your ballot in. >> people did fight and die for this right and we take the right to vote very seriously. bill: polls in colorado showing a neck-and-neck race there, and in a number of other battleground states early voting is also underway including north carolina, iowa, and ohio. right now it's happening. martha: here we go. here we go, folks.
get ready, busy couple of weeks. what is everybody saying this morning around the watercooler today about who came off stronger, who came off better last night? chief washington correspondent james rosen joins us now with a look what we learned from the so-called snap polls last night. hey, james. >> reporter: martha, for the record i skipped the watercooler. i go straight to coffee in the morning but at least three of these instant polls, must be caffeinated. three of these instant polls sampling uncommitted swing state or likely voters found president obama the clear winner but that doesn't mean these judgements will be reflected in the broader contest. virtually every question from moderator bob schiefer president obama used to attack governor romney, accusing the gop all at once all over the map on foreign policy, of copying the president's own positions but being too eager to plunge the country more deeply into war. at one point the commander-in-chief resorted to open condescension. >> i think governor romney
hasn't spent enough time looking how our military works. you mentioned the navy, for example, that we have fewer ships than 1916. we also have fewer horses an bay yo nets because the nature of our military has changed. we have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. we have ships that grow underwater, nuclear submarines, so the question is not, a game of battleship where we're counting ships. it is what are our capabilities. >> reporter: elsewhere the president snapped, i know you haven't been in a position to actually execute foreign policy. it was strong stuff and remains to be seen how it went over with women voters, martha. martha: boy, sure does. it was very strong, especially in that moment that we just showed there. there were times also last night, james, where it sounded like there wasn't a whole lot of daylight between the two, especially the first 20 minutes that left a lot of people sort of wondering what was going on? >> reporter: whether it was the swift call for hosni mubarak's resignation in egypt or direct military
intervention in egypt and use of drones, the republican challenger frequently commending the president. but on iran governor romney drew sharp lines for the florida audience saying the rage game is closer to nuclear clear weapon and the president remaining silent during the crackdown in 2009 and not doing enough to silence the iran's bellicose president. >> i would make sure the ahmadinejad would be indicted among the genocide convention. i would indict him for it. i would make sure that their diplomats are treated like the pariah they are around the world. same way we treated apartheid diplomats of south africa. we need to increase pressure, time and time again on iran because anything other than a, a solution to this which says, which stops this nuclear folly of theirs is unacceptable to america. >> reporter: the president countered that he actually unified the world against iran and crippled their economy, martha. >> thank you, james. see you at the watercooler.
bill: save us some, james. and the world apology tour came up last night as you just referred there. president obama says, we've quote, dictated to other countries. tell you governor romney's response to all that in a moment. martha: how about this story this morning? was the fort hood massacre just workplace violence? what is behind the pentagon's refusal to call that a terrorist act, and the pain that that is causing some of the families of these victims. send me a tweet what you think about that @marthamaccallum. >> all of sudden, pretty much lost hearing in my ears and it was just bang, bang, bang, just constant. and soon as i opened my eyes and looked up everybody was on the ground. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare?
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martha: one of the most tense moments of the evening last night came when governor romney explained why he believes president obama is projecting weakness in the world. here's that moment. >> mr. president, the reason i call it an apology tour is because you went to the middle east and you flew to egypt and to saudi arabia and to turkey and iraq and, by the way you skipped israel. our closest friend in the region but you went to the other nations. and by the way, they noticed that you skipped israel. and then in those nations on arabic tv you said america has been dismissive and derisive. you said on occasion, america had dictated other nations. mr. president, america has not dictated to other
nations. we have freed other nations from dictators. martha: a lot of people thought that was one of the mitt romney's strongest moments last night. ambassador john bolton, former u.n. ambassador to the u.n. and general jack keane, four-star general served as vice-chair of chief of staff of the army. both are fox news contributors. welcome, good to have you here this morning. >> good to be here. martha: let me start with you, ambassador bolton. how do you think he did on that? >> i think it was a very telling point. he did in measured rand tempered language, demonstrate the enormous gap in world views between obama and himself. and i think the difference is summed up very succinctly, romney believes that america can achieve its objectives without conflict by dealing from a position of strength that is almost essentially the opposite of the obama view who think as strong america is provocative. so i thought it was a very, very sound point and a telling moment for governor romney.
martha: general keane, sounds like you think there were some issues that were kind of left on the table, that could have been brought up effectively? >> well i'm not a political commentator but i do regard that apology tour so to speak as really a failure because what we should have taken credit for, in the muslim world, is all the muslims that we have liberated and sacrificed for. i mean the fact of the matter is we liberated kuwait. we went to somalia so the people could get famine relief and americans died doing that. we led a coalition effort to liberate iraq and afghanistan, and we stopped the slaughter of muslims by milosovich who fought four wars we're the country that stood up and brought a coalition to deal with that there is no other country with extraordinary achievement to help muslims oppressed around the world as the united states has done and we should certainly take credit for it. martha: it was clear last
night certain audiences were getting a lot of attention. in one regard, jewish voters in the state of florida were paying close attention. obviously ohio is one of the biggest battlegrounds in this election. let's look at a recent poll shows how voters feel in ohio about who is handling, who is more trustworthy to handle foreign policy and 49% went to president obama in this poll. 42% to governor romney. did anything happen last night to move the needle on that, john bolton? >> well, i think governor romney demonstrated in a variety of different contexts that the obama policy in the middle east has left the u.s.-israel relationship in at that timers and has left israel in a much less secure position. and i think this is a very important issue going forward, both in terms of the continuing global war against terrorism and the existential threat posed to israel by the iranian nuclear weapons program where again governor romney
in tempered and restrained language explained how obama had failed these past four years to do much of anything to slow iran down. martha: there was that moment, let me stay with john bolton for a second. there was a moment where bob schiefer asked what would you do if you got the call that said israel had attacked had attacked iran? what do you think of that mitt romney's answer, saying that wouldn't happen, they would be consulted about it first? >> i think the change in the relationship between israel and the united states under a romney presidency would mean that we wouldn't be surprised. i think the real risk is, that under obama, that israel feels so isolated, feels so out on a limb, feels that the united states will not do what's necessary to stop this disaster of iran getting nuclear weapons it is more likely to act on its own. if you have a better relationship between u.s. and israel, a relationship of trust, then i don't think there will be any surprises. martha: what about libya, general keane? how did you think that was
dealt with last night and in terms of the reasons why they didn't go at it more on libya? a lot of people at home are waiting for that. >> i think so too. libya is a manifestation of the fact that al qaeda is on the rise in the middle east. and that rise is quite dramatic. and what we suffered in libya and, and it is tough to deal with it certainly because of the human dimension of it but we suffered a stunning defeat. we had a u.s. diplomatic post ransacked and burned to the ground, ambassador killed. three of his teammates also killed in a clandestine activity forced to evacuate all in one single night. i don't know what the precedent for that is but it demonstrates that al qaeda has the confidence to do that. they are certainly emboldened by the defeat they just handed to the united states. martha: general keane, thank you very much. john bolton, ambassador, good to have you with us as well. >> thank you. bill: check of the markets and don't look now, folks. we are down almost 200
points in eight minutes of trading. investors reacting to some of the weak corporate earnings. dupont came out and numbers were decent but they didn't blow the doors off. that is one of the 30 components for the dow 30. we're looking close to 13,000 than we were a lot, i guess this time last week, right? martha: wait next couple weeks in the u.s. markets to decide which way they're going to go depending on the outcome of this election. we'll keep a close eye on it. bill: 187 on the board. we'll let you know how that goes on throughout the day. did governor romney need to do what he needed to do last night? we'll go to the source, the man who played the president in all the debate preps. republican senator robb portman out of ohio. he is next after this. >> this is in my view the highest responsibility of the president of the united states, which is to maintain the safety of the american people and i will not cut our military budget by a trillion dollars, which is the combination of the budget cuts the president has as well as the sequestration cuts. that in my view is, is making our future less certain and less secure.
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bill: so the man responseable for helping governor romney get ready for his three debates is ohio senator robb portman. i spoke with him a bit earlier today. senator robb portman, good morning from boca in florida. >> good morning bill, how are you? bill: i'm fine this morning. i know you're working on little sleep but tell me about last night. what was the governor's strategy in that debate? >> his strategy was to come across as he did, thoughtful, knowledgeable, reassuring ready to be commander-in-chief. i think it was a good night for him. bill: he did not go after the changing conflicting story on libya. now why was that? >> well, you know they already discussed that in the previous debate. instead he used libya as an example to talk about the broader problems in the middle east. i thought it was smart because he was able to lay out a strategy to deal with the underlying problem whereas president obama chose not to talk about his agenda or plans for the future. so, it was another example, bill, just as we had seen in
the first two debates, where you have governor romney talking how to make things better, safer in the middle east, to deal with spreading islamic extremism and president obama on the attack. as governor romney sad at one point to him, look, attacks on me is not an agenda. what undecided voters are looking for who will make life better for themselves, the families and in terms of the international side and who will make things safer going forward. that was smart of governor romney to address that. bill: let me come back to the issue of libya. at end of debate number two it seemed like there were questions still wide open and conventional wisdom said some of that would be answered last night. it wasn't. you're in the debate prep to him. was there a line of attack on libya, was that considered, or is that put on the shelf? >> oh, it was certainly considered and, you know, again i think, you have a limited amount of time and he chose to talk about a strategy for the future, which again, is what independent voters and undecided voters are looking for these days in places like our home state of ohio.
they have heard the attacks. they kind of know what the game is on benghazi. we know the president will say gee, a couple days later i mentioned the word terrorist attack. governor romney would make the point but you kept talking about the issue if you were trying to avoid the issue of terrorism. people frankly aren't looking for more back and forth on that. what they're looking for, clearly benghazi was a tragedy. it was a terrible night in benghazi, we lost four americans including an ambassador for the first time since 1979. what are we going to do about this? how will we make the world safer? how will we avoid a future benghazi? that is where governor romney went. i think that was smart. it is the best thing for our country in terms how we deal with the serious problem in the middle east. we see it on the tv sets, every night, the chaos unfolding there. he talked about a strategy. president obama seemed to want to go on the attack. the polling won't show this, bill, among all voters you will have different results but among those voters who haven't made up their mind up yet i think they're
looking for answers. bill: the reason i ask this because it really seemed like the american people reacted to a strong governor romney in debate number one which seems like it was a year ago even though it was just three or four weeks ago but chris wallace reported last night within the romney team they told him the governor romney came up with this strategy by himself and that he was going to terri out what he did last night. is that the case? >> well ultimately it is all his decision and when you're out there on the stage in the debate it is up to you to make decisions about how you address things. i think he did the right thing. i think he also showed the american people last night he is ready to be commander-in-chief. he was one who was thoughtful, knowledgeable, reassuring. i think he looked more presidential. i think that is part, that is part of the challenge for, the challenger in going up against an incumbent, is to be sure that people can see you as a future commander-in-chief and he certainly passed that test with flying colors. bill: i don't mean to
interrupt you but i have a minute left. we'll move to your home state of ohio. what is the status of the buckeye state today? where does that race stand? >> well, momentum is in our direction, bill. i have never seen such energy and enthusiasm on the ground. i know you will be in ohio next week. you will see it there. crowds are big. we made more phone calls than all of 2008 already with your volunteers. we made 25 times more door knocks. our volunteers working hard. polls showed us five points down a couple weeks ago. now it is a dead-heat. it is dead heat in the national polls. it is also a dead-heat frankly in our own tracking that we're doing. so i would like to be in our position right now rather than in president obama's position because the trend is in our direction. frankly in ohio the issue is jobs and economy and again, governor romney is laying out an agenda and a strategy to deal with it. president obama is saying four more years of the last four. people are not looking to the repeat the last four. bill: if you lose in ohio do you see a clear path to victory or is it much more
difficult? >> it is much more difficult. i wouldn't want to take the risk. no republican ever won without ohio. i believe we will win in ohio. i think it will be close, bill. it tend to be. we're a purple state. we're neither red or blue the i feel good the way things are moving in our direction. bill: auto bailout, democrats believe that is what moves the meter in ohio. are they right? >> well, i think voters in ohio are going to be really surprised when they learn it was actually president obama who took the other companies through bankruptcy. ads are misleading through that. they will be surprised sfwof romney said yes there should be government involvement. he agreed with president obama to take the companies through structured bankruptcy. he agreed how much federal involvement should the government pick winners and losers that. is difference here. the democrats overplayed their hand. the ads indicate president obama didn't take them through bankruptcy and governor romney would have. that is simply not accurate
that is good issue for us out there to have it discussed. when people look at it more closely they realize governor romney had a plan to get auto companies back on their feet. bill: rob portman in florida. we'll see you in cincinnati on monday. >> look forward to it. bill: we'll be live in cincinnati, hamilton county, southwestern part of the state on monday. that will give us an opportunity over the past three months now to be in three different parts of ohio. near canton and akron, center part of the state, franklin and delaware county and southwest now. martha: rob portman made an interesting point. it was a great interview. he said in the end it comes down to him. comes down to what romney wants to say on that moment in that stage. you think about all the prep and all the commercials that goes into these things. it was that way in denver as well. he rose on his own strength in denver and reaction and demean norse. comes down to the two men in the end. bill: ultimately it is his call. martha: all right. there was a tense exchange between president obama and
governor mitt romney over the war in iraq. >> we're going to have to recognize that we have to do as the president's done. i congratulate him taking out osama bin laden, and going after the leadership in al qaeda but what he can't kill our way out of this mess. martha: what did you think about governor romney's point there? we'll talk to former bush secretary of defense donald rumsfeld who joins us live. bill: it has been three years since the deadly fort hood shooting. why is the pentagon refusing to label this a terrorist attack? >> this staff sergeant sitting across from me, he was crawling on the ground. his left shoulder was limp. i reached down toward him to grab him. when i i was kneeling and pulling towards the door i look up and turn around to look behind me and there is mr. hasan.
bill: on "hannity" last night, here is sarah palin's reaction to the debate. here is what she said. >> there was not enough time for romney to answer all the false charges and get all the questions answered so many of us have of obama. one thing i wish romney could have really hammered home with obama was, to me, it is obama's lack of credibility as commander-in-chief having respect for our military. bill: governor palin also saying that the media ought to do a better job fact-checking the president from last night. they are over in the books now. martha: there are new fallout today from the attack on north hood. families of the victims wasn't the incident labeled as a terror attack instead of workplace violence. we learned the pentagon denied that request at least for now. molly henneberg is live with story from washington. what is the reasoning from the pentagon, molly? >> reporter: the pentagon
doesn't want to jeopardize the case by reclassifying it as a terror attack now. the department of defense is committed to the integrity of the ongoing court-martial proceedings of major nidal hasan and will not at this time further characterize the incident that occurred on fort hood in 2009. hasan have american-born muslim, charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. he could face the death penalty if convicted. last year defense secretary leon panetta described the murders as part of a quote, broader threat of workplace violence. martha? martha: molly you can understand some of that but why are the survivors and family members really pushing so hard to have this classification changed?. >> reporter: for one thing they think it is an act of terrorism or was an act of terrorism. they point to hasan e-mailing radical cleric al-awlaki
more than 20 times and shouting a la akbar, allah is great, before starting to shoot. >> this is not workplace violence, that is terrorism. >> sounded like somebody yelling out "allahu akbar!". >> approaching the scene, two blocks out i could see soldiers running in all different directions. >> the first round of bullets, one hit me in the chest. >> reporter: another reason they want the shooting reclassified? those soldiers killed or injured are the no eligible for a purple heart unless it is reclassified. martha. martha: boy, who could forget that day. molly, thank you very much. bill: making the final pitch to voters in 11 battleground states. we'll take you there. martha: here we go, governor romney firing back at repeated attacks against president obama with a single line. did it work and does it have a point? >> attacking me is not an agenda.
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[ all ] one! -two. -[ all ] three! [ male announcer ] the bankamericard cash rewards credit card. apply online or at a bank of america near you. martha: we start with this fox news alert on this tuesday morning. we have got a brand new poll that shows governor romney with a four point lead over president obama as the candidates hit the road once again with those crucial debates behind them. they are heading to the crucial swing states just hours after the big faceoff in that third and final debate. hard to believe we're at this juncture with two weeks from today everybody heads to voting booth. some headed there early. here is look how the presidential race shapes up coming from rasmussen reports. this is predebate read. governor at 50%. president at 46%. this is brand new hour of "america's newsroom." i'm martha maccallum. bill: i'm bill hemmer. they're set to burn jet fuel crisscrossing across the country. there is time to move on from the debates. there are questions about
governor romney's strategy. listen to one of the more unexpected exchanges of the debate last night when governor romney praised the president for his leadership. >> i congratulate him taking out usama bin laden and going after the leadership in al qaeda but we can't kill our way out of this mess. we're going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of islam and other parts of the world reject this radical, violent extremism which is, it certainly not on the run. >> governor romney, i'm glad that you agree that we have been successful going after al qaeda but, i have to tell you that your strategy previously has been one that has been all over the map and is not designed to keep americans safe or to build on opportunities that exist in the middle east. martha: well that exchange karl rove said he thought it was a brilliant move by romney. we've got team coverage of all the reaction this hour. chief white house correspondent ed henry is traveling with the president in delray beach, florida.
we'll begin with john roberts who is in boca raton this morn. good morning, john. >> reporter: good morning martha. it is awfully difficult task for a challenger to go up against the sitting commander-in-chief on foreign policy mitt romney's strategy was to look presidential and look at him as commander-in-chief and strong and measured to try to make president obama weak on foreign policy. the president's strategy on the other hand was to cut romney off at the knees to make him look uninformed and foolish, reckless. the governor seemed to hold up pretty well in the face of aura of superiority on this exchange over al qaeda and russia. >> governor romney, i'm glad that you recognize that al-qaeda's a threat because a few months ago when you were asked what's the biggest geopolitical threat facing america, you said russia, not al qaeda, you said russia. in the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the cold war has been over for 20 years. >> i have clear eyes on this. i'm not going to wear
rose-colored glasses when it comes to russia and mr. putin. i'm not certainly going to say to him i will give you more flexibility after the election. after the election he will get more backbone. >> reporter: very easy for the challenger to fall into traps laid by incumbent commander-in-chief. snap polls taken after the debate found that president obama robly won the debate also that governor romney didn't appear to do himself any harm either, martha. martha: that may have been one of the most interesting exchange of the night last night. one of the things, john, people are scratching their head over a little bit this morning why governor romney didn't go after the president more on the issue of libya. what is the word on that today? >> there is a number of explanations you could take. the one that comes from the romney campaign said the way the question was phrased really led to the governor to broader discussion about al qaeda and its resurgence on the globe and not specifically the libya timeline. another explanation the campaign knows libya is not
a winning issue with voters. economy is moving numbers, not libya. the governor wanted to focus on other things rather than get into a lengthy litigation on the timeline. the other explanation which may be the most plausible one, the last time he mentioned this at a debate it blew up in his face and hasn't talked about it on the campaign trail ever since. for context i spoke to senator john mccain who told me i would have hammered the president on the libya timeline, martha. martha: hindsight is always 20/20, john. thanks very much. bill: looking in the rear view mirror. romney's running mate congressman paul ryan hitting good morning america today applauding his boss's performance. >> look i think president obama spent half the time attacking mitt romney not offering a new vision and here is romney said here is how we do better job in iran policy and here is what we should have done in all the other areas and more importantly i think he gave a great job articulating a vision for america's role in
the world. martha: vice president joe biden also weighing in on the final showdown last night touching on the republican ticket's message. here he is. >> totally appropriate to point out that governor romney and congressman ryan have moved their positions drastically. they probably haven't changed them internally but keep running away the idea there is not a $5 trillion tax cut? these are things that they have running on. this has been the staple of the new, this republican party. martha: biden also saying there is still a great deal of hope and change ahead of this election. bill: speaking of hope and change the president's back on the trail waking up today in florida. live pictures delray beach, where the president will speak in a moment. chief white house correspondent ed henry traveling with the president. ed, good morning to you. last night was all foreign policy for the most part a lot of pivots to the economy here at home. today the president does the same. what is his message this morning?
>> reporter: he wants to talk about domestic issues you're right the president wakes up in florida in precarious position for the incumbent to be under 50% in a lot of national polls. he knows he is playing defense in a lot of battleground states and defense on agenda. look at this, waiting for the white house press corps here, a plan for jobs. they have heard the criticism that the president has not laid out a second term agenda. they have this out here, look in this final two weeks he will lay it out. he has a new ad as well where he make as sort of a final case to voters. take a listen. >> here's my plan for the next four years. making education and training a national priority. building on a manufacturing -- boosting american-made energy. reducing the deficits responsibly by cutting where we can and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. >> reporter: not a lot new in there. we heard the president say that on the trail before but he knows that he's faced in criticism most of his campaign has been negative,
has been focused on what mitt romney would do or what he did at bain capital. they realize in the final two weeks they have to lay out what he would do in a second term, bill. bill: as for mitt romney, he was bringing it back to domestic issues last night quite often. how did he do that? was it effective? >> reporter: seemed like it was because on the way in a senior obama advisor told me their strategy was they thought mitt romney would come at the president, hug him, not fight him. they thought mitt romney wanted to cross that threshold being able to be commander-in-chief and not look too negative. that is sort of what romney did. he also tried to pivot from foreign policy to the economy in his closing statement. take a listen. >> the president's path will mean continuing declining take-home pay. i want to make sure take-home pay starts to turn around and starts to grow. the president's path means 20 million people out of work struggling for a good job. i will get people back to work with 12 million new jobs. >> reporter: when i talk to
senior obama advisors they know mitt romney had the momentum over last couple weeks. they want to try to turn it around putting president out in battle grand states working harder than he has last couple weeks. over next couple days will hit six battle ground states in 48 hours. at one point he will fly to las vegas overnight back here to florida, to tampa specifically showing working around the clock for the votes. they know they're in a defensive position right now, bill. bill: ed, thank you. in the map behind us i want to key in on the 11 battleground states. the states in the map marked in gray. if you live in one of these states you're about to get hammered by both these campaigns and why is that? look at results and look at razor tight race we have here. in ohio, this is where with the president and joe biden will be later tonight. they're going here to month comery county. daytona, ohio. heavy manufacturing sector in the buckeye state an area president won by six points four years ago.
the president starts his day wakes up in palm beach county, a winner in florida by a three point margin. unemployment rate and foreclosure in florida are two of the biggest issues you will find. there is only one state both issues are worse than florida that is out here in the west in the state of nevada. governor romney and paul ryan will be later today. clark county, the city of las vegas. you see how many votes are available. 60-40, president was a winner four years ago. later to no night in colorado a state that went blue in 2008, just west of denver in jefferson county a big concert later tonight. governor romney and paul ryan at the red rocks amphitheater just outside of denver, colorado. as we move over the next 14 days, watch the states in gray. they will determine who is the next president of the united states and here we go. wow! martha, back to you. martha: wow is right. thanks, bill. last night there was also a faceoff over the iraq war. here's how it went.
>> with regards to iraq you and i agreed, i believe there should have been a status of forces agreement. >> that is not true? >> you didn't want a status of forces agreement. >> what i would have not done, left 10,000 troops in iraq that would tie us down. that certainly would not help us in the middle east. martha: things not going so well in iraq right now. we will talk to former secretary of defense donald rumsfeld about how the obama white house has helped or hurt us in the world. bill: also both campaigns fighting for their man today about last night's performance and the fallout today. we will talk to both sides coming up. >> when the president of iraq, excuse me of iran, ahmadinejad, says that our debt makes us not a great country, that is a frightening thing. former chief of the joint chiefs of staff said, admiral mullen said our debt is the biggest national security threat we face. we have weakened our economy. we need a strong economy. we need to have as well as strong military. 0t[h7
martha: the war in iraq officially ended last year but it was back on center stage last night, setting off this heated exchange between president obama and governor romney. romney going after the president for withdrawing all the troops in 2011. >> with regards to iraq, you and i agreed, i believe, there should have been a status of forces agreement. >> that is not true. >> oh you didn't want a status of forces agreement? >> no, what i would not have done is left 10,000 troops in iraq that would tie us down. that certainly would not help us in the middle east. >> i'm sorry, you actually, there was a an effort on the part of the president to have a status of forces agreement and i concurred in that and said we should have some number of troops that stayed on. that was something on concurred with. that was your posture and my posture as well. you woif thought it was 5,000 troops and i thought more troops. >> just a few weeks ago you
indicated we still have troops in iraq. >> i'm sorry. i indicated that -- >> you made a major speech. >> i indicated that you failed to put in place a status of forces agreement at the end. conflict that existed. >> governor, here is one thing i'm, here is one thing i learned as commander-in-chief. you've to be clear. both to our allies and our enemies, about where you stand. and what you mean. martha: folks think it wasn't so clear working for that agreement in iraq. i'm joined by donald rumsfeld who served as secretary of defense under president george w. bush. he is the author of the memoir, known and unknown. secretary rumsfeld, good morning. good to have you with us today. >> good morning. martha: what was your overall impression of last night? >> well the piece you just played i think was a example of the evening. the president kept interrupting governor romney. governor romney was exactly correct. the president of the united states said he wanted a status of forces agreement. we have status of forces agreements all over the
world. they're not complicated. they can be achieved. and in fact he instructed the vice president and the secretary of state to get one, and they failed. and governor romney was making that point. now, the other thing the president said was totally inaccurate is that to have had that status of forces agreement and possibility of some relatively small number of troops available to be in that country, either in it or nearby, i think would serve as a deterrent to iran. and it would have been beneficial, not only to the united states, but beneficial to the iraqi government as they evolve and develop, and it would have been a very good signal to iran, that we do have capabilities in that part of the world as a deterrent. so i was, i felt that the president was way off base saying something like that's not true which he said on a number of occasions. he was simply flat wrong. martha: there have been reports that al qaeda has
doubled in iraq since that complete pullout. and there have been something like 4,000, is the estimate that i found of casualties in iraq since we left. you know, there was so much discussion, and you could say this president really won the election based on his promise to pull out of iraq but how do you think he handled the equity? you touched on this. but one more time how he handled the exit and what the impact has been on our strength in the middle east? >> but no question the way he handled it by his failure to have a status of forces agreement, understanding with the iraqi government that we would have a template, as to what we were capable or able to do in that country, in the event there were some need to be there, i think was a disastrous failure, a diplomatic failure on the part of the secretary of state and vice president and the president of the united states. martha: as a former secretary of defense i want to play this next sound bite for you and get your reaction to this.
>> they look at our decision to cut back on our military capabilities, a trillion dollars. the secretary of defense called these trillion dollars of cuts to our military, devastating. that is not my term. the president's own secretary of defense called them devastating. martha: what do you think about that, sir? >> well he's right. i think that governor romney was correct to link the fact that if the united states continues to incur trillions of dollars of debt, what that does it send a signal out across the globe that we are not responsible. that our future is going to be less bright. we're going to be less engaged and we're going to have to be diminished and withdrawn because we will not have the capabilities to do it. the idea that we could cut a trillion dollars over the next decade out of defense budget, we have gone from 10% of gross domestic product for defense, down to 4% today. and the idea that the trillions of dollars of debt that this administration is
imposed on future generations is a result of the defense spending is simply false. it is not the case. the growth in expenditures is are clearly in entitlements. there is no question about that. and governor romney was correct. martha: what did you think about the moment when the issue of russia was brought up? governor romney at one point saying that he felt russia was somewhat of a threat to the united states? you know, then it got thrown at him he was living in another time. that the '80s want their foreign approximatelisy back and this is not the world war? that was an effort on the part of the president to be dismissive of the governor and, i mean the fact is, this administration came into office, talking about a reset with russia. they would have a reset button. and the effect of it has been on almost every issue russia has opposed the united states. in the united nations with respect to iran. they have opposed us around
the world and they are behaving in a way that is unfriendly to the united states. i think that one of the most important things that governor romney said last night hasn't really even been discussed. martha: what was that? >> in the media. he said this problem with radical islamists terrorists is not going to be won with bullets. we can't kill our way out of this problem but we need relationships around the world where we get support in opposing radical islamists. and he is exactly right. we need a strategy and we do not have a strategy. today in this country, as to how we're going to deal with that problem and, as al qaeda continues to reconstitute and, and attack our friend and our people around the world, as they have, i think that the need for a strategy to deal with radical islam system increasingly obvious and the administration has failed
tear bring terribly with respect to it. martha: secretary rumsfeld, thank you. we'll ask for about this and thank you for sticking around. bill: arguably one of the most antagonistic moments of night. >> you mentioned navy. we have fewer ships since 1916. governor we have fewer hours and bay yo nets because the nature of our military has changed. bill: in a moment governor romney's response on that. that is next. back in two minutes. legal settt or annuity over 10 or even 20 years? call imperial structured settlements. the experts at imperial can convert your long-term payout into a lump sum of cash today. @
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we're headed down to low 200s if we go through sequestration. that is unacceptable to me. >> you mentioned navy, that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. governor we have fewers horses and bay yo nets because the nature of our military has changed. we have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. we have the ships go underwater, nuclear submarines. bill: one of the more talked about moments last night. secretary rumsfeld back with us. what do you make of that exchange there? >> i think there are an awful lot of people around the united states of america who would find the comments by the president to be both insulting and arroga. to say, to the governor, you know we have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. i mean, my father served on a carrier in world war ii. i was a navy pilot. for the president of the united states to equate horses and bayonets, to ships in the united states navy, when the problems we face, you united states is
engaged in commerce all over the world. that requires freedom of the seas. the problems of drug trafficking, problems of privacy, the problems of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, all of these things require that we have a capable navy. and, the fact that the navy is shrinking is an important, serious subject that merited a thoughtful, serious, important discussion. and all it got was a dismissive, arrogant answer from the president by someone who has never served in the military. i found it, really, disappointing. bill: the word sequestration was mentioned last night. that's a deal that apparently the folks in washington cut. they cut about $500 billion out of the military by the fist of january if you don't get a deal. -- 1st of january. what the president said last night, sequestration won't happen. first of all sequester is not something i proposed, it is something congress -- it
will not happen. does anyone else in washington know that? >> i don't think so. i think it is something that --. bill: why did he say that then? >> well, i think he is hopeful. i think he is hopeful that it won't happen, so he says it will not happen, but the fact of the matter is, it takes cooperation between the executive and the legislative branch to come to some rational solutions to these horrendous deficits that are being impoised on future generations. and he is basically saying, he has enough confidence in himself, that they will be able to find a solution, because the sequestration is a meat cleaver. a blind, mindless way for government to act instead of being thoughtful and discussing things. i thought, if you think about governor romney's point a very high percentage of the people in the legislature in massachusetts were democrats and that he managed to work with them --. bill: 78, 79, i think the number was.
>> yes, i think that's right. that message is an important one because it is very obvious this president has not been able to work with the congress and took the president and the congress to disagree, to result in, what is now called sequestration. bill: interesting point. >> which would be enormously harmful. bill: secretary, thank you. >> thank you. bill: donald rumsfeld with us from washington. thanks for happening on extra time today. we'll give you double in your paycheck. see you real soon. >> all right. martha: well an investigation has been launched into what may have been a scam to stop republican voters from heading to the polls in a critical battleground state. we have the details an alleged voter fraud and how it could affect the race there. bill: governor romney hitting back with one repeated statement last night with the attacks going back and forth. did it work? we'll tell you what that was. fair and balanced debate coming up. >> attacking me is not an agenda. attacking me is not talking about challenges in the middle east and taking
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martha: fox news alert for you now, president obama taking the stage in delray beach, florida, for his first campaign event since the big debate last night in nearby boca raton, both candidates accelerating those travel schedules. you are going to see them all over these battleground states in the next 14 days. florida, of course, is the biggest, it's got 29 electoral votes. you can watch the president's remarks streaming live on foxnews.com.
♪ >> we have to also stand by our allies. i think the tension that existed between israel and the united states was very unfortunate. i think, also, that pulling our missile defense program out of poland in the way we did was also unfortunate in terms of, if you will, disrupting the relationship in some ways that existed between us. >> our alliances have never been stronger. in asia, in europe, in africa, with israel where we have unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation including dealing with the iranian threat. but what we also have been able to do is position ourselves so we can start rebuilding america. bill: reaction now. surrogates from both sides, wesley clark, also the former nato supreme allied commander in europe. sir, welcome back here. >> thank you. bill: also missouri senator roy blunt, governor romney's senate
a liaison. general clark, i want to talk about this head-to-head battle that we watched last night. when it came to the issue of whether or not we're going to cut $500 billion out of our military, now, up until last evening we all thought that these cuts were going to happen at the 31st of december unless you get a deal. now, this is what the president said last night that's getting headlines now. roll this. >> first of all, the sequester's not something i proposed, it's something that congress has proposed, it will not happen. the budget that we're talking about is not reducing our military spending, t maintaining it. -- it's maintaining it. but i think governor romney maybe hasn't spent enough time looking at how our military works. bill: i want to key on that one line, it will not happen, the sequestration. does he know something that we don't? >> well, i think he understands that this whole painful process was put in at the request -- put in place at the request of
congress to make sure it was so painful that congress had to agree on how to deal with the deficit, and i think he's assuming -- and rightly so -- that there is going to be an agreement on how to deal with it, and therefore, that pain won't be inflicted either in the military side or in the civilian side. bill: sir, the deficits just continue to go up then. because that was the deal they cut, they couldn't reach agreement, they punted on it. >> no, i think the deal is they will reach an agreement, and that's why they have to reach an agreement. the idea was the pain if they don't reach an agreement is so great that they'll have to reach an agreement. so that's why it's such, so painful. that's why it's not going to happen. bill: and on that point, governor romney's been talking about this for weeks, and last night the president opened a little bit of a door here when it came to sequestration. when these two men sat side by side, was it not remarkable how much they had in common on foreign policy? and i would think even a guy like you were surprised by that, weren't you? >> well, i think when you look
at it, what happened was that for several years on the campaign trail governor romney's been trying to take a partisan position that says he's tougher, meaner, stronger, more resolute, more determined, more willing to use force, more robust. but when you actually folded it in, said, okay, precisely what would you do that reflects this attitude, he didn't have any concrete suggestions that went past what the president's done. and what the president's done over four years is he's changed the dynamic in american electoral politics. if you went back into the 1970s and '80s, maybe even the '90s, you could find the democrats were softer, kinder, gentler, more willing to negotiate -- bill: but romney's big point was that nowhere in the world is america stronger today. >> i don't think that's true. bill: name one. >> it's incorrect. bill: middle east? egypt? syria? our situation with iran? >> i think our armed forces are
stronger, i think our relationships in the pacific are stronger, i think our relationships with our allies in europe are stronger, i think we've gotten rid of gadhafi, we replaced him with a democratic government in libya. we've started the transition toward an effective democracy in egypt. it remains for the egyptians to carry through on that. so, and -- bill: some would argue we don't know what we're going to get in libya. those are unknowns, as another guy named rumsfeld would say. >> of course. but you asked me where i think we could be stronger, and i've named our alliances both in the pacific and in europe and our ability, we took out the central node of al-qaeda. our army is getting more rest and recovery now that we're out of iraq x we've continued to improve our military technology. bill: okay. it's a big world, we have many topics. i wish we had more time but, please, come back over the next two weeks, okay? wesley clark. martha: let's get the other side, fair and balanced for you. governor romney's senate a
liaison, roy blunt is a member of the senate intelligence committee. good to have you today. >> nice to be here. martha: sequestration, as you just heard replayed, the president said i didn't do that, that was at the request of congress. >> well, everything, the president's leading from behind both with our allies and, apparently, his leadership with congress. whether it was the health care bill or the sequestration debacle, the president somehow has no responsibility for it. we need a leader and, frankly, last night i was watching this on television, i thought if i hadn't been watching things for the last four years, i'd assume that governor romney was the president, and the president was the challenger. because he just refuses to do the kinds of things that would lead the country like saying after he said for a long time he won't compromise on sequestration, saying it won't happen. what kind of message is that in. martha: were you surprised when he said that, that it wasn't going to happen? that does assume that they're going to miraculously work out
some kind of deal, and we all followed the machinations that led to the showdown with john boehner and the deal that led it to fall apart in the first place. >> i suspect the president's advisers may have been surprised when he said that. i think it's one of those things that seemed like the right thing to say at the time though clearly the president can't back that up with the reality of what has to happen now to avoid cutting the military across the board and making other across-the-board cuts at nih and other places just because we don't have the courage to go in or the leadership to go in and say here's something we need to eliminate, here's something we need to keep doing at the level that we're doing it today. martha: you're on the intel committee. were you surprised there wasn't more on libya, and were you sort of, you know, looking at your tv like i think many folks were and wanting governor romney to come out a little more forcefully with questions and probing on the libya issue? >> well, i was. i thought that there was a big
unanswered question, in fact, there was a wrongly-answered question from the last debate about libya, and i thought the governor would use this as a chance to pursue that. but i think what he did was use this as a chance to show not only a breadth of understanding of foreign policy, but he's the kind of decision maker that americans and our allies can rely on. you had one guy who looked calm and collected and full of facts and ready to make the right decision, and another guy that i think was kind of trying to figure out how to become president, and that was the current president trying to figure out how to become president. martha: all right. roy blunt, thank you so much, senator. good to see you, as always. bill: talk with those guys for an hour. martha: yeah, very interesting. bill: governor romney firing back against president obama's arsenal of one-liners with a few jabs himself including attacking me is not an agenda. does he have a point? we're going to debate it fair and balanced. >> of course, i don't concur with what the president said about my own record and the things that i've said. they don't happen to be accurate.
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bill: we have liftoff, america. check it out. >> liftoff of kenny ford as they head on a two-day trip to the international space station. bill: that's a pack of three. russian rocket blasting into space carrying american astronaut kevin ford, two russian cosmonauts. the crew will spend five day on the international space station. look at that beauty of a sight that is. the russian rocket is the only means for astronauts to reach the space station since the shuttle was put out to pasture last year. martha: got to have a ticket to ride on that baby. all right, back to last night for a moment. governor romney pushing back against repeated attacks from president obama, the president saying his opponent was, quote, all over the map, when it came to his foreign policy strategies. here's how mitt romney responded. take a look. >> we're talking about the middle east and how to help the middle east reject the kind of terrorism we're seeing and the rising tide of tumult and
confusion. and attacking me is not an agenda. attacking me is not talking about how we're going to deal with the challenges and take advantage of the opportunity in the middle east and stem the tide of this violence. martha: so what's the agenda? that becomes the question again. bob beckel is a former democratic campaign manager, of course, and andrea tantaros a dially news columnist and -- daily news columnist, and both are fox news contributors. hi, guys. >> good morning. martha: bob, the president in terms of outlining what is his agenda as mitt romney said, attacking me is not an agenda, so where's the president's agenda? >> i would offer to you there was no agenda offered by romney after that, but i think any agenda in any foreign policy situation is region by region. it's very difficult to have a worldwide agenda as it was in the '50s and the '60s with the cold war. it is now a regional set of issues, and in that regard i think obama's done
extraordinarily well. i think romney -- martha: let me put the question to you that came up moments ago which was show me a region where we are better off now than we were four years ago. >> eastern europe, nato, israel, united states/israel relations. martha: i think you might get some arguments on that. >> yeah, i will, but i can back mine up with facts. >> our relations are so good that our president chose to hang out with whoopi and joy behar rather than benjamin netanyahu. look, the reason why that line was so important is because it's the theme of the whole campaign, martha, whether it's foreign affairs or whether it's the economy, the president has chosen -- and his advisers -- to attack mitt romney in the most not just heinous ways by calling him a felon and a bully and all these other things, but in the tone they attack him. mr. hope and change has gone from mr. big bird and binders, and it's not a very good look, and it's turning off women.
every woman has worked with a man like that or been spoken to the way that president obama sarcastically and snidely undressed mitt romney on air with that tone, and i'll tell you what, it's why he's losing women. martha: interesting. well, the women on "the five," bob, would never put up with any of that. >> of course not. god knows, who would put up with them is the other question. [laughter] martha: but, bob, last night it looked like everybody was hugging the middle, trying to bring in that undecided voter, that independent voter who may still be out there on the fence. do you think anybody moved the needle with those voters? >> i think maybe a very few. i mean, it was really a base-enhancing debate, and in romney's case he went way from the right to the middle. he said he was for not giving a deadline in afghanistan, now he's with the president on that. if i had a dollar for every time he said i agree with you, mr. president, last night, i could retire. he did try to find the middle. not a bad strategy, i guess, but
in terms of undecided voters, the polls showed that obama beat romney among that group, but not by a big margin, so i don't think a lot of votes were changed. martha: excuse me, andrea, as we see this first set of polls that really have this third debate baked in, and we have seen the twittering falling off a little bit over the course of the three debates. were people watching last night? >> well, it was tough because you're competing with monday night football, and i happened to go to a rush concert, so i caught the debate when i came home, so -- martha: wait a minute, wait a minute, you were at a rush concert last night? >> i was. >> who was the rush? was that a rush limbaugh concert? martha: rush limbaugh? >> i didn't know he -- >> you know i love classic rock. but the point is, i think people are focused on it. it was a tough night to watch the debate. but as far as independents, mitt romney did what he needed to do. he was calm, he was collected, he was measured, he was everything president obama was in 2008. i don't think agreeing with him
so much was such a bad strategy, and romney's been leading with independents, so he had to do no harm last night, and that's exactly what he did. martha: go ahead, bob. >> the polls that came out showed he got beat among independents. >> you and i both know you can't judge the polls. you've been saying this for weeks. >> well, you all were very quick to jump out on it when romney won the first debate. >> but that was pretty clear. >> i see, i see. >> i think even you agreed. martha: a good preview of "the five" on a tuesday morning, so we thank you guys, look forward to seeing you later, bob and andrea, see you then. bill: today's tom sawyer, mean, mean pride. who knew that would make the show today, of all things? martha: who knew? jon: you learn something new every day, brother. bill: i'm telling you, brother, take you back to the day of the eight track. what you working on? jon: two weeks to go until americans go to the polls, we have reaction to the debate last
night. now, among our guests, bob cusack, judge napolitano, peter brooks and larry sabato. we'll ask who won, what the debate tells us about our next steps in iran and around the world and the future for our u.s. military. plus, swing state iowa and some new polling, the countdown is on. we'll have it "happening now." bill: jon, thank you. you'll be busy, we'll see you then. suspicious letters warning republican voters in a key swing state not to bother even going to the polls. now why would that be? martha: what is that? we haven't even carved the jack-o'-lantern yet. snow. we'll show you where, we'll be right back. >> you're excited about the early start? >> oh, yeah. >> oh, i love it. nothing better. ally bank. why they're always there to talk. i love you, james. don't you love me? i'm a robot. i know. i know you're a robot!
martha: well, fall's looking a lot like winter in california today. the state hit with its first major snowstorm of the season. here we go, folks. the storm blanketed the mountains and the highways with two feet of snow in the sierra nevada area. national weather service issued travel advisories for the higher elevations where up to two feet of snow was expected. balmy here this week. bill: you've got tropical storm sandy moving to jamaica. suspicious letters telling republican voters in florida they may not be eligible to cast a ballot. phil keating's in miami, what's the deal about citizenship coming into question? >> reporter: well, all of the recipients of these letters were led to believe by what was in them was that their citizenship was under scrutiny by their local elections office and that if they voted without clarifying this up, well, they could be facing a felony and jail time. but, in fact, everyone who received these letters is, in fact, a u.s. citizen, almost all
of them registered republicans, people like john born in west virginia, now lives in napless, florida, helping to run a construction company. the letter he and others received sure looks real, as official looking letter head, the right supervisor of elections name at the bottom and is a genuine attempt at suppressing republican voter turnout. >> my concern is that, again, the absentee ballot folks, maybe some elderly folks in florida that aren't as mobile, can't get to the election office, and they just may be on the fence whether they want to vote or not anyway in the election just decide, you know what? i'm not going to mess with it. i'm not going to risk it. >> reporter: compounding the problem and really underlying and exemplifying the cleverness of this ruse is over the past four or five months in the florida the state's had a highly-publicized effort to purge voters from the rolls, so this letter seems like a part of that.
bill: phil keating's on that, 29 electoral votes in florida. martha: both presidential candidates now left with just days to win over the voters including that influential women voter group out there. coming up, we're going to hear from an undecided mom of four who attended the second debate. we're going to find out whether or not last night's showdown swayed her one way or another. they're working on her, that's ahead. >> in the last four years you cut permits and licenses on federal lands and federal waters in half. >> not true, governor romney. >> by how much did you cut them by then? >> we have produced more -- >> no, no, how much have you cut licenses and permits? >> governor romney, here's what we did. >> no, i had a question, and the question -- >> you want me to answer ato t question. >> how much did you cut them by? to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years.